Extent of Fock-exchange mixing for a hybrid van der Waals density functional?
Journal article, 2018
The vdW-DF-cx0 exchange-correlation hybrid design [K. Berland et al., J. Chem. Phys. 146, 234106 (2017)] has a truly nonlocal correlation component and aims to facilitate concurrent descriptions of both covalent and non-covalent molecular interactions. The vdW-DF-cx0 design mixes a fixed ratio, a, of the Fock exchange into the consistent-exchange van der Waals density functional, vdW-DF-cx [K. Berland and P. Hyldgaard, Phys. Rev. B 89, 035412 (2014)]. The mixing value a is sometimes taken as a semi-empirical parameter in hybrid formulations. Here, instead, we assert a plausible optimum average a value for the vdW-DF-cx0 design from a formal analysis; A new, independent determination of the mixing a is necessary since the Becke fit [A. D. Becke, J. Chem. Phys. 98, 5648 (1993)], yielding a 0 = 0.2, is restricted to semilocal correlation and does not reflect non-covalent interactions. To proceed, we adapt the so-called two-legged hybrid construction [K. Burke et al., Chem. Phys. Lett. 265, 115 (1997)] to a starting point in the vdW-DF-cx functional. For our approach, termed vdW-DF-tlh, we estimate the properties of the adiabatic-connection specification of the exact exchange-correlation functional, by combining calculations of the Fock exchange and of the coupling-constant variation in vdW-DF-cx. We find that such vdW-DF-tlh hybrid constructions yield accurate characterizations of molecular interactions (even if they lack self-consistency). The accuracy motivates trust in the vdW-DF-tlh determination of system-specific values of the Fock-exchange mixing. We find that an average value a 0 = 0.2 best characterizes the vdW-DF-tlh description of covalent and non-covalent interactions, although there exists some scatter. This finding suggests that the original Becke value, a 0 = 0.2, also represents an optimal average Fock-exchange mixing for the new, truly nonlocal-correlation hybrids. To enable self-consistent calculations, we furthermore define and test a zero-parameter hybrid functional vdW-DF-cx0p (having fixed mixing a 0 = 0.2) and document that this truly nonlocal correlation hybrid works for general molecular interactions (at reference and at relaxed geometries). It is encouraging that the vdW-DF-cx0p functional remains useful also for descriptions of some extended systems. Published by AIP Publishing.